100 villages in Himachal demand their rights over community forests under the Forest Rights Act
MORE THAN 100 villages in Himachal Pradesh have for the first time asserted their rights over community forests under the Forest Rights Act (FRA) of 2006. The forest rights committees of the villages have submitted their claims to the sub-division (block) level committees. The move followed the Himachal Pradesh High Court order in April asking the government to remove any kind of encroachment in the forests of the state. "Now that these claims have been made, we would urge the state government to implement FRA in the state before it starts evicting people," says Guman Singh, convenor of Him Niti Abhiyan, a coalition of various non-profits that is working to promote FRA in the state.